Brig Anil Gupta
The ignominy Pakistan recently suffered at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session should be enough for the nation to hang its head in shame but on the contrary Pakistani’s are celebrating it as a major success and the Pak military is on a high having achieved its aim. Imran Khan Niazi was sent to New York by the Deep State to create a war hysteria and warn the international community of the consequences of a Nuclear War, and he did succeed in using the hallow podium of the august international body to make such noises. Throwing to winds, all international protocol, decorum and norms he misused the podium for 55 minutes against the allotted time of 15 minutes. He sounded like the spokesman of Pak military which considers itself to be the bastion of Islam. His speech was divisive since he attempted to divide the august body in the name of religion. But for a brief mention of Climate Change, his entire speech centred on Islam. Even while discussing Kashmir, he invoked Islam.
His war rhetoric did not have much impact on the global audience but was successful in galvanising the local audience and its stooges in Kashmir. Pak military desperately needed this in order to justify and legitimise it gulping 25-30% of its national budget.The image of Pak military had hit the rock bottom after the successful Balakot airstrikes and the meek response of its air force. The military is unwilling to let go the supremacy it enjoys. Hence, it needs to swing the public opinion in its favour.
Pak military wants to rule the roost and continue to exercise power over the sham “political hierarchy.” Since it wants to remain relevant and continue to be in the driver’s seat through remote control, it cannot allow the Kashmir issue to become irrelevant or go into the oblivion. Kashmir issue has to stay alive for Pak military to remain relevant. It is unwilling to surrender to the Indian masterstroke of removing Pakistan out of the equation as far as Kashmir is concerned. For 70 years, the Pak military has been propagating Kashmir to be Pakistan’s umbilical cord, but with a sudden move India refused to acknowledge Pakistan as even a stake holder and warned it to stop meddling in its internal affairs.
It is necessary to clearly understand the accession of Jammu & Kashmir to India, as a consequence of which Pak has no claim. But to justify the Two-Nation theory that was used to divide the British India and was not applicable to the princely states where ruler had the sole authority to decide, Pakistan claimed it to be their territory being pre-dominantly Muslim. Thus Imran Khan played the Muslim card at the UNGA to woo the Kashmiris and raise the sagging morale of the Pak military back home.
Can Kashmiris forget the events of 1947-48, when the raiders and Pak army soldiers created mayhem and raped their women folk and looted and destroyed their properties? Courtesy Nehru’s desire to be holier than though, he went to UN and they have POJK now. Don’t the people of J&K know, the atrocities being committed on the residents of POJK including Gilgit- Baltistan by the Pak Army? Don’t they know the way Pakistan has changed the demography of POJK making Kashmiri speaking Muslims virtually extinct? Under Zia ul Haq, in the 1980s, the Pakistan government promoted violent jihad as a state policy and spread Islamist extremism under the tutelage of Pakistan Army. Pakistan has tried to mislead the Kashmiris in the name of Islam. Pakistan has accepted the fact that it started religious militancy in Kashmir. But all this was done not for the well-being of Kashmiris but for ensuring supremacy of Pak military in the eyes of the gullible Pakistanis who have been nurtured on an anti-India narrative.
No amount of dialogue with Pakistan will help improve Indo-Pak relations because the Pak military does not want peace and is not keen on improving relations with India. Most countries have armies but in Pakistan the army has a country. Pakistan’s military has always enjoyed disproportionate political clout. It is not willing to let this self-acquired supremacy slip out of its hand and hence needs a favourable public opinion at home. The rumours of a possible coup in Pakistan are ill-founded because having tasted the benefit of power through remote control, no Pakistani military chief will ever like to occupy the “hot chair” of nation’s head and be directly accountable for the emergence of Pakistan as a failed state. More so, when it has a puppet like Imran Taliban Khan in chair.
According to Christine Fair, a known American author and a keen Pakistan military-watcher, “The Pakistan military is driven not by an urge to promote national security, but by ideology. Their main motivation is to resist and weaken Hindu-dominated India in whatever way possible; they see India as an existential threat.” She further says, “Pakistan is thus best understood as a ‘purely greedy state’, one that would consume whatever territory, aid or other benefits it can get, but would never seek peace with the old enemy, since giving up hostility under even the best circumstances would be tantamount to defeat.” This clearly illustrates the mind-set of Pakistan military.
Existential threat from India is the myth created by the Pakistan Military to build the anti-India narrative which holds the otherwise fragile nation together as a federation. In house, the country is ready to implode anytime but religion holds them together. The fact is that India is a non-revisionist, self-satisfied nation that has accepted Pakistan’s existence and has no interest in invading Pakistan despite many internal fault lines that exist in the neighbouring country.India has always wished for a stable and homogeneous Pakistan rather than a divided and unstable Pakistan. Pakistan is also home to global jihadi terror outfits and is considered as a nursery of terrorism. In fact, India is least worried about Pakistan except the fact that it is using terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy and promoting cross border terrorism in India. India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructure if it wants peace. Pak military’s sincerity towards peace can be gauged from the fact that despite the sword of FATF hanging on the country’s head, it has not allowed Imran Khan to act as per the ‘to do list’ of the FATF thus even challenging the international watchdog.
“War is no option” under the nuclear overhang is a self-created illusion of the Pak military. India has called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff on three occasions so far but the Army continues to befool its people by announcing development of tactical nuclear weapons least realising that its very existence will be wiped off, if it ever dared to use a nuclear weapon against India or its forces. Most countries possess nuclear weapons to create deterrence so that peace prevails but Pakistan is using its nuclear arsenal as a shield to unleash proxy war against India. Peace is an illusion as far as Pak military is concerned.
Musharraf was once asked, “What if India gives you Kashmir, will your animosity towards India stop?” He had replied, “India being an enemy is in every Pakistani’s blood and hence there will be no change.” This is Pakistan military’s stated policy. Imran Khan Niazi was shedding crocodile tears for Kashmiris at the UNGA in furtherance of the nation’s stated policy. To create a war hysteria to ensure continued supremacy of its military at home. Kashmir was only means to an end. Despite the accession of Kashmir to India being fool-proof and Pakistan not legally entitled to Kashmir, it has built its entire national security structure to annex Kashmir by hook or crook as an unfinished agenda of partition. Bloodshed of Kashmiris by jihadi terrorists it pushes into the Valley does not matter.
“It is jihad. (In Kashmir). We are doing it because we want Allah to be happy with us,” said Imran Khan immediately after he returned home from New York. Mark his words. To please Allah, not for Kashmiris. For him and Pakistan Kashmiris are only means to an end. He also said, “Kashmiris would win, if the Pakistanis stood by them.” A person who is a puppet himself and has no control over his nation is assuring the Kashmiris. Not because he means good for Kashmiris but because bloodbath in Kashmir suits his narrative of Jihad, which in turn gives legitimacy to Pak sponsored terror. Once again Kashmiris are being used as ‘means’.
I have read between the lines and exposed Imran Khan Niazi’s hypocrisy. It is for the Kashmiris now to decide if they want to continue to be used as a mean to an end or put permanent end to Pakistan’s hypocrisy. They need to shed all inhibitions and wholeheartedly embrace India and join the other countrymen in building New India that is free of terrorism, separatism and corruption with equal opportunity for every Indian to prosper.
(The author is Jammu based political commentator, columnist, security and strategic analyst.)
Brig Anil Gupta